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Turkish Excellence In Y NCE-IST-BJV 320, 321 &738  
User currently offlineAOMlover From Singapore, joined Jul 2001, 1335 posts, RR: 11
Posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 12000 times:


This report will cover the last flights I've taken this summer, from Nice to Bodrum via Istanbul and back. The purpose of that family trip was to spend a week on a Gület, sailing around the southern Turkish coast. It's been my third trip to Turkey this year, but my first time flying with Turkish Airlines.

In the Summer, TK flies daily to Nice using a mix of A320s and 738s according to the day of the week. This enabled me to sample both aircraft on this 3h flight.

Flight 1
30th July 2009
Route: Nice Côte d'Azur (NCE) - Istanbul Atatürk (IST)
Flight number: TK1814
Aircraft type: A320
Registration: TC-JPL "Göreme"
Scheduled time of departure: 13:20
Scheduled time of arrival: 17:10

We were a group of 9, and even though we had checked-in online the day before (in order to be seated all together), we had to queue at the chek-in counter in order to drop our luggage. There's no dedicated luggage drop counter, and we had to queue for about 20mn.

After passing immigration, we relaxed in the boarding lounge and waited for the boarding call. Even though boarding was called by row 15mn behind schedules, we had to wait in the boiling hot glass jetway as the cabin cleaning was still being processed.

We eventually made it to the aircraft which featured the new Airbus interior. Flight attendants were busy in the galley and there was no one standing by the door to welcome us on board or check our boarding passes. We were seated in the very back of the aircraft. The colour of TK cabins can look a bit surprising when judging from pictures, but in reality they are very relaxing and pleasing to the eyes. There was a very fresh and clean atmosphere in the cabin. Seat comfort was good, I love leather covers, and the cup holder is very convenient. The cabin was very cold compared to the heat of the jetway, so my mother asked for a blanket and she got it immediately, along with a pillow.

We took off 25mn late, with no explanation or apologies.

Soon after take-off, flight attendants handed out printed menus and earphones. The female f/a who was working in our section of the plane was a bit cold, but very professional and attentive. The male f/a working in the forward section of the Y cabin was a bit nicer. We first got a drink service, then lunch was served. At that point I was highly impressed by the quality of the meal for a 3-hours flight. There were 2 choices for the main dish, and I chose the pasta which was very tasty.

During the meal service, the female f/a heard someone coughing. Thinking it was my brother, she rushed to the galley and came back with a paper thermometer. She asked my brother to put it in his mouth in a very authoritative way and with no explanation. At first my brother (who hadn't coughed) didn't understand what was happening, and my mother asked the f/a what this was all about. She replied that due to the H1N1 epidemic, she had to detect any passenger who might be sick. It turned out that my brother was not sick, end of the incident. It made up for a good laugh afterwards. I don't blame the f/a who just did her job, but she could have managed the "incident" a bit more tactfully.

After lunch, f/as walked down the aisle offering coffee or tea and a pack of Turkish hazelnuts. It was a very nice touch.

This aircraft was fitted with drop-down screens. I didn't pay much attention to the IFE, as the video programming consisted mainly of commercials and uninteresting short programs, the "just for laughs" kind of stuff which makes me want to hang myself in the lavatory.

The flight was smooth, we overflew Italy, the Balkans, Greece, and the Sea of Marmara before arriving in Istanbul.

I was very impressed by my first flight with Turkish Airlines. The hardware was top notch: recent and clean aircraft, relaxing cabin, comfy seat, excellent meal, and the IFE with the 3D moving map was a nice touch. The cabin crew could have been a bit more friendly, but they did their job in a professional and efficient way.

Check-in area, Terminal 1 in Nice.



Boarding call.

Nice bird, delivered in 11/07




Audio controls.

Menu + earphones.

Nice blanket !


Excellent meal.

Hazelnuts & coffee.

Unusual colors, but fresh cabin look.

IST, here we are.

After landing, we parked at a remot stand and deboarded by stairs and bus.

Here comes the big, big weakness of TK: Atatürk airport !
I know that Turkish Airlines is not responsible for the mess at IST, this airport does seem undersized, but passengers who travel with TK will have to cope with this disorganization anyway. The whole place was a zoo, and it took us more than 50mn to go through immigration in order to reach the domestic terminal. Many passengers who had short transfer time had to jump the queue in order to catch their domestic flights, which annoyed and angered some of the other passengers who had been queuing for a long time.

Flight 2
30th July 2009
Route: Istanbul Atatürk (IST) - Bodrum Milas (BJV)
Flight number: TK294
Aircraft type: A321
Registration: TC-JMC "Aksarai"
Scheduled time of departure: 19:35
Scheduled time of arrival: 20:50

When we finally arrived at the old and cramped domestic terminal, all flights were delayed between 30mn and one hour. 5mn before the expected boarding time, our flight got delayed as well by 10mn...and then another 10mn, and so forth. No reason was ever given. Furthermore, we were sharing our boarding gate with another flight, which was delayed as well. It was a complete mess, the small boarding lounge was completely overcrowded.

Eventually our gate number changed all of a sudden, and we boarded 1 hour late by bus.

We got welcomed on board by a bunch of friendly flight attendants. However, no reason or apologies were given for the 1 hour delay.

Even though this A321 was fitted with the old-style TK seats, seat comfort was OK. The very best part of this flight was the snack service: on a short 1h15mn hop, we got a very good sandwich, a salad and a delicious cake ! Turkish passengers are spoilt. I didn't take many pics as it was dark outside. All in all, a very enjoyable short domestic flight with a nice crew.

View of the apron from the ground floor of the domestic terminal.

Our ride for tonight.






Impressive snack for such a short flight.


We spent an amazing 8 days in Turkey. The beauty of the Southern coast is amazing. Clear water, amazing weather, friendly people...great food ! We also stayed a day around the wonderful Greek island of Simi. I can't wait to go back !

















But all good things must come to an end, and eventually it was time to head back to la France.

Flight 3
7th August 2009
Route: Bodrum Milas (BJV) - Istanbul Atatürk (IST)
Flight number: TK287
Aircraft type: B737-800
Registration: TC-JGL "Karaman"
Scheduled time of departure: 10:20
Scheduled time of arrival: 11:30

Our taxi dropped us at the domestic terminal of Milas Bodrum airport. I had managed to check-in online the day before, so we just had to drop our luggage and go through security. Boarding was called on time. There's no jetway at the domestic terminal, so we boarded by bus and stairs which is always a nice experience. We entered the aircraft through the aft door. This 738 featured the new style light blue/pinkish cabin, with drop-down LCD monitors. The seats were a bit different than those on the A320, as indicated by the cup holders which were not in the same position.

The crew was nice. Right after take-off, they showed the moving map on the monitors. Amazingly, the aircraft had already started its descent when the f/as handed out our meals. We were overflying the Sea of Marmara when I started eating my sandwich. Once again, the snack was superb with a tasty sandwich, a salad and a cake. I ate in a hurry and the f/as collected our trays a few minutes before landing. We parked at a remote stand and deboarded by stairs/bus. Thumbs up to TK for such a good service on such a short flight.

Milas Bodrum domestic terminal.


Our plane.






Safety video.


Remember him ? Mr Costner is in need of money it seems.

Approaching the sea of Marmara, waiting for my snack tray.


Here it is ! I had to eat all of this in less than 5mn.




We made our way to the international terminal and queued in for immigration. It took us about 30mn to reach the counters. Something very surprising happened. A few meters in front of me in the queue, there was an Iranian guy with his wife. She was fully scarfed, you could barely see her eyes. When they reached the counter, the immigration officer checked their passports, and he let the girl pass without even checking her face...

Flight 4
7th August 2009
Route: Istanbul Atatürk (IST) - Nice Côte d'Azur
Flight number: TK1815
Aircraft type: B737-800
Registration: TC-JGM "Karaman"
Scheduled time of departure: 14:10
Scheduled time of arrival: 16:15

Anyway, we spent some time in the duty free shops before going to our gate. Once again we boarded by bus, but our flight was on time at least.

Nice crew, amazing food once again, and an uneventful and smooth flight. This aircraft had the new cabin AND winglets !





Menu & earphones.


Excellent meal.

We landed in Nice approximately on time...but TK lost 5 of our 4 pieces of luggage ! They were nowhere to be found, and they didn't show up in the system. Fortunately, we got them delivered at home the following day.

Conclusion: TK offers an excellent service on short and medium haul flights. Most flight attendants were nice and professional, but some of them were a bit cold IMO. I was very impressed by the food offering, freshness of the cabin, and I love the 3D moving map on the drop-down LCD. Flying long-haul with TK must be amazing.

The big negative point is Atatürk airport. The international terminal is nice, but they HAVE to do something about the very long queues at immigration. It's unacceptable for passengers who have short connections on domestic flights. They also have to do something about the delays. There was a thread recently about this in the civ-av forum.

I wouldn't hesitate to fly TK again, judging from the service they provide it's easy to guess why they've been so successful lately.

Hope you enjoyed the report !


23 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineRcaq From Austria, joined Aug 2009, 98 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 11922 times:

Amazing TR. I've spent decades of hrs on turkish carriers, ranging from exotic charters to thy. The inflight service on THY, i.e. meals/refreshment on short haul routes, is a whole different league  Wink

User currently offlineTk747 From Australia, joined Sep 2009, 345 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 11897 times:

Amazing report!! those seats bring back so many memories. What a great meal service from TK on the NCE-IST legs.

Your pictures of Turkey are beautiful, well done!

User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 30070 posts, RR: 59
Reply 3, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 11874 times:

Hey great report and nice pictures of Turkey and Greece. THY are good as usual. From my experience they offer a great product. IST is getting full to capacity.

Thanks for the report


User currently offlineShamrock321 From Ireland, joined May 2008, 1680 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 11811 times:

Great report! At the end you said TK lost 5 of your 4 bags! Shouldnt it be 4 of 5? Haha. Excellent pictures aswell.

User currently offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1211 posts, RR: 19
Reply 5, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 11381 times:

Hola Clément!

Thanks for this TR.

Your boat trip looks really amazing, very nice for a week holiday.

TK seem to offer an excellent product... it is amazing to see this service in Y onboard European carriers, definetly an airline to try in the near future.

Quoting AOMlover (Thread starter):
TK lost 5 of our 4 pieces of luggage !

 confused   Wink



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1827 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 11219 times:

Thanks for the report. TK probably has the most beautiful Y class serviceware... elegant, simple and presentable.. no other airline comes close in this area.

There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6543 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 11166 times:

Quoting AOMlover (Thread starter):
but TK lost 5 of our 4 pieces of luggage

Oh man, that is one really REALLY bad airline, losing bags you don't even have!

User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6831 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 11146 times:

Hi !

Excellent report ! TK seems to be a really good airline, can't wait to try them some day.

The pictures of Turkay are fantastic!

It seems they really need to build a new terminal at IST.


Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineAOMlover From Singapore, joined Jul 2001, 1335 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 11102 times:

Thanks for your comments !

Quoting Shamrock321 (Reply 4):
At the end you said TK lost 5 of your 4 bags! Shouldnt it be 4 of 5? Haha.

Quoting SW733 (Reply 7):
Oh man, that is one really REALLY bad airline, losing bags you don't even have!

Ouch, my bad! I mean they lost 5 pieces out of 9 (4 arrived on the belt).

User currently offlineKurt From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 430 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 11060 times:

Excellent trip report. Those pictures of Turkey make me want to book a flight right away - really beautiful.

User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5243 posts, RR: 53
Reply 11, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 11043 times:

Hey, Clement,

superb location pictures, "hard" to follow that all here in middle europe with the upcoming autumn season.

TK looks good indeed and a real mess, that queues at Ataturk airport.

Markus (FLIEGER67)

User currently offlineLucky727 From Canada, joined Sep 2003, 602 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 10996 times:

Nice trip report (no pun intended - lol!)

I like turquoise/chocolate as a colour combination, but never imagined it being used for airline interiors - very different! And, yes, that is being spoiled: two snacks/meals on two short segments...

Loved your pictures of Turkey, also ~


··· [·] oooooooo [·] oooo oo ooooo [·] ooooooooooooooooooo [·]
User currently offlineSQ_EK_freak From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2000, 1812 posts, RR: 20
Reply 13, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 10875 times:

Great report! God I need to get on Turkish already, they've been receiving some amazing reports of late.

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 6):
TK probably has the most beautiful Y class serviceware... elegant, simple and presentable.. no other airline comes close in this area.

Exactly! So simple yet so classy - it makes food that might not be as well presented on the plate palatable simply because of the service ware!

Keep Discovering
User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1539 posts, RR: 13
Reply 14, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 10581 times:

Thank you for this excellent TR. Turkey is wonderful, and TK seems to offer very good Y product. Those pictures of Turkey explane why it is the number 2 destination out of Israel (After the US).

I flew TK Y a while ago, in December 2002 (TLV-IST and back) and It was great, I'm glad to see that they didn't change.

every day is a good day to fly
User currently offlineSQ325 From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 1473 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 9990 times:

Thx for sharing!
But TK aircraft interior looks simply awful!!!!

User currently offlineRP TPA From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 852 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 9938 times:

Quoting AOMlover (Thread starter):
Remember him ? Mr Costner is in need of money it seems.

Well, I don't know about you, but when I think of Turkey and Turkish Airlines, the first thing that comes to my mind is Kevin Costner!!  Yeah sure

User currently offlineUAL757 From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 809 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 9872 times:

All your pictures are so clear and crisp. They were just plain awesome. Thanks for this great report. TK looks like a great airline, and they do show up as an option with *A for my trip to NCE next summer  Smile

User currently offlineSkydrinking From United States of America, joined May 2009, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 9444 times:

Very nice report/pictures...I recently flew TK on several routes over the past few weeks but had mixed reviews with it's J class long haul and the Y short haul segments.

I agree that the food was overall quite delicious...with the exception of my dry lamb chop entrees in J on JFK-IST-IST-ORD. I also flew IST-Nevsahir-Nevsahir-IST-IST-BJV and CAI-IST, which was the best short haul flight from my TK experience, however I now recall that we didn't receive any menus on this leg.

The Nevsahir-IST was the worst as far as service...the flight attendant totally skipped my drink order yet served my wife who was next to me and my mom who was sitting adjacent to my wife. I then asked another FA for my diet coke, to no avail. Finally a third attempt was made to the initial FA, to which the reply was "oh, I'm sorry", followed by a long pause and stare as if she didn't think I was still interested in my drink anymore. Eventually she understood that I DID want my drink and brought it to me several minutes thereafter.

Service on the other legs was standard, and I was especially disappointed in the service we received on our J Class routings, mediocre at best!

Seat pitch on the A320/321s blew (knees in the seat style)...they were much better on the 737-8s - and I'm only 6'.

IST ataturk is an "okay" airport in my opinion - the best part, if you ever have the chance, is to experience the CIP international lounge - absolutely wonderful.

THY - They Hate You airlines!



User currently offlineYOW346 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 42 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 8 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 9374 times:

Quoting AOMlover (Thread starter):
Remember him ? Mr Costner is in need of money it seems.

Living in Aspen is expensive. On a related note, he deserves to be confined to flying 5 inch monitors for a terrible movie called Waterworld.

The colors of the cabin are so incredibly awful I wanted to gouge my eyes out. Not even your camera (which seems really high quality judging from the vacation photos) could make them look better.

Thanks for the pictures of your vacation! They are amazing. Although I would dare say that the scenery of Southern Turkey doesn't seem too dissimilar to that of Southern France. Both beautiful.

User currently offlineGardermoen From Australia, joined Jul 1999, 1529 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 9100 times:

Cool report....I'v always wanted to fly Turkish, have heard mixed reviews about them.

That sucks how at Nice they haven't got a dedicated on-line check in counter line.

Impressed you got a menu in economy on your NCE-IST legs.

User currently offlineEC001 From France, joined Jan 2009, 94 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days ago) and read 8935 times:

Hi there AOMlover,

Oups, I thought I had already praised your TR, but it seems I forgot!

Turkish airlines really seem to have high standards in terms of quality. Their service seems to be very impressing!

Par la même occasion j'en viens à vous féliciter pour les très belles photos prises en Turquie. Elles sont magnifiques. Cela me donne envie d'aller y faire un tour!



User currently offlineAleksandar From Serbia, joined Jul 2000, 3241 posts, RR: 31
Reply 22, posted (6 years 8 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 8816 times:

Great TR!

It seems that TK is still offering something hardly ever does these days: nice meals. I do hope they will keep on with that nice Balkan tradition to keep the guests well fed.  bigthumbsup  . Also, it seems that they are getting better and better in terms of costumer service. At least, it seems so according to the latest TRs here.

Thanks again for sharing your experience with the rest of us.

User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 7100 posts, RR: 75
Reply 23, posted (6 years 8 months 3 hours ago) and read 8651 times:

Another great report with many stunning pictures. TK's product is amazing - especially the catering.

Quoting AOMlover (Thread starter):
Unusual colors, but fresh cabin look.

Yes indeed, good to see something else than the usual grey, black or blue seats.

Quoting AOMlover (Thread starter):
Excellent meal.

Quoting AOMlover (Thread starter):
Impressive snack for such a short flight.

Quoting AOMlover (Thread starter):
Here it is ! I had to eat all of this in less than 5mn.

Quoting AOMlover (Thread starter):
Excellent meal.

Fantastic! The meals on the international sectors are larger and much better presented than on many long-haul carriers. And the design of the bowls is great, too.

Quoting AOMlover (Thread starter):
The big negative point is Atatürk airport. The international terminal is nice, but they HAVE to do something about the very long queues at immigration. It's unacceptable for passengers who have short connections on domestic flights. They also have to do something about the delays. There was a thread recently about this in the civ-av forum.

That's one major reason why I'm not to keen on trying TK on a longhaul trip.


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
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